Microsoft’s multibillion-dollar deal to buy video game maker Activision Blizzard has been cleared by the UK’s competition regulator.
It cleared the way for the Xbox owner to complete one of the biggest takeovers ever in the tech sector.
But what does it mean for gamers now that the maker of Call Of Duty will be owned by the firm behind the Xbox games console?
– What are the details?
Microsoft has paid just under 69 billion dollars (£56 billion) to take over Activision Blizzard, the video games developer behind franchises such as Call Of Duty, World Of Warcraft, Overwatch and mobile giant Candy Crush, among others.
Following the Xbox owner’s acquisition of another large gaming studio, Bethesda, in 2020, Microsoft says it will help boost its Game Pass platform – the company’s Netflix-style gaming subscription service – and better compete with Sony and Nintendo in the gaming market.
– Why has the deal been delayed until now?
Industry rival Sony raised concerns that Microsoft could stop some big games from being available on the PlayStation.
We’ve cleared the new deal for Microsoft to buy Activision without cloud gaming rights.
In August, Microsoft made a concession that would see Ubisoft, instead of Microsoft, buy Activision’s cloud gaming rights.
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— Competition & Markets Authority (@CMAgovUK) October 13, 2023
Call Of Duty is one of the biggest entertainment franchises in the world, making millions of dollars for console makers with each new instalment every year.
Regulators in the US, UK and EU also expressed fears over the impact the deal would have on competition in the gaming market, and whether it would mean Microsoft could make it more expensive and more difficult to play some games on non-Xbox